Byatt on toast in 2005

Having heard A.S. Byatt’s voice (in a few brief clips from her interview with Iris Murdoch in the BBC archives) only a handful of times, I’m unfamiliar with the Possession author’s verbal tics. But Craig Brown looks into his crystal ball and makes some predictions involving Byatt’s efforts to overcome them in 2005:

February 18: A S Byatt accepts the challenge of trying to speak on Radio 4 for two minutes without using her famous catchphrase, “in a curious sort of way”. She manages a full one minute fifteen seconds before faltering soon after embarking on the following sentence: “When you put bread in a toaster, in a curious sort of way it transforms into something society sees fit to call toast.” She is led away in tears. “But at the same time, it came as something of a relief,” she says later, “in a curious sort of way.”


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